26 September 2016
Hosts FC Ifeanyi Ubah on Sunday in Nnewi beat visiting Enyimba International FC 1-0 to keep alive their hopes of securing a ticket to play on the continent stage in 2017.
A fourth minute goal by Isaac Loute was all the Anambra Warriors needed to go ahead of their opponents and remain in contention to place among the final top three.
From the victory at the Ifeanyi Ubah International Stadium, FC IfeanyiUbah have thus kept their third place in the 2015/2016 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) at least for now.
They now have 56 points and will visit MFM FC of Lagos in the season’s final game on October 2.
Sunday’s match was a thriller which saw both sides displaying deft skills and attacking rather cautiously, but all efforts could not change the score line thereafter.
In a post-match interview, captain of FC IfeanyiUbah, Wilson Elu, expressed happiness with the match’s outcome, and thanked their teeming supporters for their faith in the team.
Elu expressed the hope that they would clinch victory in their last game of the season against MFM FC of Lagos and book a place on the continent.
The club’s President, Ifeanyi Ubah who was visibly elated said it was not over until it was all over, saying the club would continue to do their supporters proud.
Ubah said they would approach their semi-final fixture in the 2016 Federation Cup competition against Crown FC of Ogbomoso in Kaduna on Wednesday with all seriousness.
In Ibadan, it was jubilation time for supporters of Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) on Sunday after the club defeated visiting Wikki Tourists FC of Bauchi to escape relegation.
A header from Samuel Olabisi in the 54th minute of the Match Day 37 game gave them the victory.
The tension-soaked match was the last home match for 3SC in the 2015/2016 NPFL season and was crucial to their final position on the league table.
3SC were before the match 15th on the table with 44 points, while Wikki Tourists were third with 54 points.
The Ibadan-based club will visit Owerri for their last match of the season against hosts Heartland FC.
3SC’s Coach Gbenga Ogunbote said he was highly grateful to God for the escape, saying many people had believed that the club would be relegated.
“God has been faithful to me all the time. It is good to have confidence in God and your team. I have a very cordial relationship with the players.
The coach said the first hurdle for him and the club had been crossed, and the next hurdle was to fortify the team to win laurels.
Similarly, Seun Akinyemi, the 3SC captain, said he was really happy over the victory and the team’s escape from relegation.
He said that many people did not believe that the team could escape relegation by the end of the 2015/2016 NPFL season.
“I am very happy that the club escaped relegation. We will now work very hard to lift the club back to its glorious old days,’’ Akinyemi said.
Yomi Oke, the Oyo State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, said the good old days had returned to the 3SC.
“Government will give its best to returning the club to its victorious days,’’ he said.
Also in Akure, Sunshine Stars Football Club defeated visiting Warri Wolves FC 1-0 in their final home match of the 2015/2016 season on Sunday.
The week 37 match was played behind closed doors, with the only goal scored by Dayo Ojo in the 64th minute.
Sunshine Stars now have 53 points from 35 matches and will now visit Wikki Tourists FC in Bauchi in the season’s final game on October 2.